This story can stand alone, but it's part of the FinalFantasyFic FFVII rewrite. Since my bit's not for ages, I thought I'd do a little vignette from the Shinra headquarters. Palmer's POV, though he doesn't actually say much.

A NOTE TO THE HUMOUROUSLY CHALLENGED: This fic is a comedy, (though it may not be a very good one). Got that? C-O-M-E-D-Y. That means anything said about the characters should not be taken seriously.

"But why?" Scarlett whined for the hundredth time. I munched on my lard pudding and tried to ignore her. She'd been pestering me all through my lunch, and considering I generally eat six courses, you can understand how annoying that was. I sighed and pretended to be interested in a report I'd brought with me.

"Are you even listening to me?" she screeched, shaking her cleavage beligerently in my direction. I nodded vaguely, and hoped she'd give up and go away. No such luck.

"The answer me!" Her voice had taken on the tone that usually meant she was going to blow a town up. Not wanting her to destroy my beloved cafeteria, I decided that the better part of valour was probably discretion.

"It's just........different with him, Scarlett," I said, trying to use a soothing tone of voice. It actually sounded more like a sing-song gurgle, but I couldn't really help that. Too much blubber round my vocal chords.

"But why?" she demanded again. "It works on everyone else. If I want something, I ahem give it to them, and then they give what I want to me. Simple. So why won't Rufus sleep with me?"

Explaining that one to Scarlett was definately not on my list of 'Fun Things To Do When I'm Not Eating'. Not that I could have got a word in edgeways anyway.

"I just don't understand it! No matter how revealing I make my outfits, or how wildly I flirt, he doesn't pay attention. I mean, the other day I lay on his desk wearing nothing but a pint of whipped cream, and all he did was run out of his office with his hands clasped over his mouth! And he locked the door behind him!"

At that particular mental image, I felt rather nauseous myself. All that lovely cream gone to waste! But Scarlett wasn't finished.

"How am I going to get those extra funds for weapons development if he won't sleep with me? And how come he's the only one in the company my feminine wiles have no effect on? I've had the President, Heidegger, Hojo - I even had you once!"

We both shuddered at the memory. She stopped to draw breath, then continued her tirade.

"Why can't I have Rufus? He's the cutest executive around! Why? It's not fair!"

She was rapidly beginning to sound like a six year old. Her face was turning a brighter shade of red than her dress. Just then, Rufus walked in. Catching sight of Scarlett, raving away and regressing to early infancy, he blanched.

"Oh my! It's that horrid woman. Oh, whatever shall I do? Tseng, save me!"

Tseng, who had just come back from the toilets, was rather suprised when Rufus sprang into his arms and stayed there, clinging to his shirt and quivering with fear. Looking slightly sickened, but nonetheless sticking staunchly by his duty, he carried the President's heir away. If he was alarmed when Rufus moved on from sobbing into his shirt to trying to rip it off, he hid it masterfully.

Recovering from her bawling fit, Scarlett began to survey the damage. There were several dents in the table where she'd been thumping it with her fists, but she seemed more concerned about the chip in her nail varnish. After a couple of minutes, she looked up at me.

"So?" she asked.

"So what?" I said, wishing she'd go away.

"So why won't he sleep with me? Oh yeah, and why does he have a blow up doll of Sephiroth in his room?"

"What?!?!?" I exclaimed. "How did you find that out?"

"Well, I was lying on his bed, waiting to seduce him - "

"Stop! That's enough information!" I interrupted hurriedly. She seemed not to hear me.

"And it was really cool, cos there were posters of all these hot guys everywhere, and I really liked those posters, so I was just about to - "


I suddenly realised that the entire room had fallen silent. Everyone was staring at me. That was when I noticed that when I'd leapt to my feet, I'd dragged the table cloth with me because I'd been using it as a napkin, and everyone on my table had had their food spilled into their laps. I laughed, nervously.

"Erm, carry on the rest of you........" Feeling myself starting to blush, I sat back down, glad that I was a Senior Executive and there were rules against lynching me.

"So, Scarlett, let me get this straight. Rufus ignores all your advances. He has posters of men all over his walls, and an inflatable model of Sephiroth in his bed. He spends most of his time drooling over the Turks. Just now, he tried to undress Tseng. Is this telling you anything?"

Scarlett looked blank. Honestly, dumb blondes didn't get much dumber than that. Not that she was a real blonde ......... maybe all that peroxide had rotted her brain. I decided to go for a more direct approach.

"Scarlett, has it ever occured to you that Rufus just doesn't like women?"

Her face brightened considerably. At last, we're getting somewhere, I thought.

"Oh, but none of the guys like me!" she said, triumphantly. "They think I'm a stupid PMS-y little bitch. They still sleep with me!" Her face fell again. "So why won't Rufus?"

I rolled my eyes and made a faint appeal to Heaven. No answer being forthcoming, I decided to make a last-ditch effort.

"Scarlett, let me put this a way you might understand. You have more chance of seducing Elena, got it?"

"Oh, but I've done that!" she said eagerly. "You see, I needed to get in touch with Reno, and - "

I grimaced at the mental image, and tried to blot out the rest of her words as she began to chatter again. I was sure it was going to be a very long day.